Southampton Man On Trial Over Cheeki Rafiki Deaths

26 February 2018, 12:42

cheeki-rafiki

The director of a Southampton firm's going on trial - charged over the deaths of four sailors when their yacht capsized.

Douglas Innes' Stormforce Coaching managed the Cheeki Rafiki - which lost its keel in the North Atlantic almost four years ago.

He denies manslaughter by gross negligence.

The yacht lost its keel as the crew were returning the 40ft yacht from Antigua to the UK in May 2014, when it got into trouble more than 700 miles from Nova Scotia.

On board were skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham in Surrey, as well as crew members Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, both from Somerset, and James Male, 22, from Romsey.

yacht

The US Coastguard was criticised for calling off its search after two days, but after protests from family and friends, and intervention by the British government, the search was re-started and the boat found, but without any sign of the four men.

Douglas Innes, 43, of Whitworth Crescent, Southampton, director of Stormforce Coaching Limited, faces four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence at Winchester Crown Court which he denies.

A panel of 20 jurors has been selected from which a jury will be sworn in on Tuesday, when the prosecution is expected to open its case.